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Keyboard kids to relearn art of writing

world Updated: Jul 28, 2008 23:28 IST

Over 150,000 students in years 11 and 12 at schools across North South Wales (NSW), Australia, reportedly need to relearn the art of using a pen and paper quickly, a skill they have lost after years of using computers, laptops, and mobiles.

Sue Marks, a senior English teacher at Barker College, has revealed remedial classes are being held to get students’ handwriting legible enough for Higher School Certificate examiners to read.

Dr John Vallance, the headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, says typed essays will not be accepted in the later years of high school. He says the school places a very strong emphasis on ensuring every student can write legibly.

“Handwriting is an important expression of a student’s personality, which is certainly not demonstrable through keyboarding. It’s a skill this generation should not lose,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Vallance as saying.

John Bennett, the general manager of the NSW Board of Studies, has revealed they are not looking for any wholesale conversion from the use of pen to the use of keyboards, and “e-assessment” of exams.

“It is unlikely computers would be suitable for exams in all subjects, but we anticipate that in five years we will see computers used for some parts of some exams,” he said.